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W3C Mobile Web Initiative Workshop Addresses Challenges of Mobile Web Access

W3C Brings Leaders Together in "Mobile Web Initiative" Workshop

Participants to Explore Current and Potential Applications, Identify Next Actions

[Update 2005-05-11] — 17-November-2004.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is hosting a "Mobile Web Initiative" Workshop on 18-19 November in Barcelona, Spain that will discuss the current challenges of "mobile Web" access, and how to address them.

Potential of Mobile Devices on the Web Not Yet Realized

Being able to access the wealth of information available on the Web from a mobile device is valuable in many day-to-day situations, e.g., when checking timetables, looking for product information, checking e-mail, transferring money or accessing a corporate Internet while travelling. Mobile Web access is considered to be a key enabler for mobile Internet services. However, even though many of today's mobile phones include Web browsers, accessing the Web from a mobile device has not become as popular as expected. Users often find that their favorite Web sites are not accessible or not as easy to use on their mobile phone as on their desktop device. Content providers have difficulties building Web sites that work well on all types and configurations of mobile phones offering Web access.

W3C Holds Workshop to Identify Obstacles, Solutions

To address these and related issues, W3C is considering a new effort called the "W3C Mobile Web Initiative". The goal of this initiative is to make Web access from a mobile device as simple, easy and convenient as Web access from a desktop device. Initial ideas for achieving this goal include developing "best practices" documents, providing support infrastructures for mobile developers, organizing training programs for Web content providers and creating validation and conformance testing services for Web-access from mobile devices. These activities would complement current W3C efforts in developing Web standards that support the expanding Web, including mobile devices (e.g., multimodal interaction, mobile profiles, device independence).

Sponsors, Participants Include Industry Leaders in Mobile and Web Technologies

Sponsored by W3C members Hewlett-Packard, Orange, Vodafone and Volantis, and colocated with a meeting of OMA (Open Mobile Alliance), the workshop seeks industry and community input and feedback. Specifically, the workshop will look at the current issues with mobile Web access, and how they should be addressed.

Over 40 position papers have been submitted by mobile and Web technology leaders from around the globe, including 3UK; ACCESS; Adamind; Adobe Systems; Argogroup; BT; Canon; CSP - ICT Innovation; Day Software; ETRI (Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute); Expway; France Telecom; FUNDACION ONCE; Hewlett-Packard; IONA Technologies; MobileAware; mTLD ("Mobile Top-Level Domain") consortium; Nokia; Nordea; NTT DoCoMo; Obigo; Openwave Systems; Opera; Oracle; Orange; PalmSource; Research In Motion; Sony Ericsson; Streamezzo; Sun Microsystems; T-Mobile; Totalbrand; University of Southampton; Vodafone Group Services Ltd; Volantis; Yahoo! and ZoomOn.

A W3C workshop is an opportunity to bring together W3C Members and the public to discuss possible future directions for W3C work. Position papers, presentations, and minutes from this workshop will be posted publicly on the W3C Web site after the workshop.

About the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. More than 350 organizations are Members of W3C. To learn more, see

This announcement is also available in French and Japanese.


Contact Americas and Australia
Janet Daly
Email: <>
Tel: +1.617.253.5884

Contact Europe, Africa and Middle East
Marie-Claire Forgue
Email: <>
Tel: +33.492.38.75.94

Contact Asia
Yasuyuki Hirakawa
Email: <>
Tel: +81.466.49.1170


Update 2005-05-11: W3C announced the launch of a new Mobile Web Initiative (MWI), designed to make Web access from a mobile device as simple, easy, and convenient as Web access from a desktop device. Two new Working Groups have been chartered to support MWI. The Mobile Web Best Practices WG (MWBP) will develop a set of best practices documents and define a 'mobileOK' trustmark. A Device Description WG (DDWG) will develop device descriptions applicable to content adaptation. See details in the news story: "W3C Mobile Web Initiative to Define Best Practices and 'mobileOK' Trustmark."

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See other details in the news story "W3C Mobile Web Initiative (MWI) Workshop Addresses Web Access from Mobile Devices."

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